The number one over all picked in the 2017 NBA Draft forgot how to shoot. Crazy isn’t it. Maybe not as crazy as it seems. There is an ongoing debate on wether this is mental or physical why he can’t shoot. Fultz’ agent or attorney whatever he is has made a hard stand that it is physical and not mental at all. I think that this point it most fans would say he is a “headcase” (which is a bullshit term referring to mental health likes it’s fucking 1920 but that’s a topic for another post). Let’s put aside fandom right now, put emotions and prejudice aside and maybe come to the conclusion that it’s both, physical and mental.
Many are going to refuse to acknowledge that fultz was originally injured, that he was weak and soft and he just can’t make it in the league so he made up this “injury” last year. There is a solid chance that he may just not be good enough to play nba basketball, but I don’t believe it. I do believe something happened to markelle’s shoulder and that the pain forced him to change his form. Whatever happen seemed like kelle was afraid to tell the team that he was hurt so instead he did what he had to do best to hide it, this really isn’t uncommon in young kids especially when there could be bad consequences.
The season starts and fultz is obviously in the national spotlight with this messed up jump shot and crazy high expectations for a 19 year old kid. When the world sees that he uncharastically “forgot” how to shoot it becomes one of the biggest and oddest stories in sports. The theories fly, espn fox sports every channel is talking fultz and his twitter mentions blow up. There were many supporting fans during this time but there was also many cruel and cynical fans that thought because they were behind a keyboard they can say all kinds of nasty things to him. After a few games they take him out’ diagnose him with some sort of shoulder injury and he is out the majority of the season. So a quick summary, fultz is drafted first in the nba draft a real dream come true. Something happens and he hurts his shoulder. He changes his form to deal with the pain. Comes on the national stage of the nba and can’t shoot anymore and his form looks atrocious. The sports media world takes up the story, he is called a bust and a headcase and soft on national tv on almost a daily basis. Sports radio goes nuts and callers say all kinds of mean and nasty things about him. People on twitter and Instagram crush him and attack him like a bunch of cyber bullies. Pile all this bullshit on a 19 year old kid plus the fact that his dream of playing in the nba just got put on hold and possible lost forever. To me that seems like a pretty traumatic experience for a young kid. Markelle is experiencing PTSD.
I know it sounds crazy. He has never been to war or almost been blown up. But Ptsd isn’t just for veterans. Rape victims commonly have ptsd from their experience. Same with domestic violence. Pretty much anyone can developer symptoms of ptsd from a traumatic event in their life. Ptsd anxiety mental health it doesn’t discriminate. Doesn’t matter if you are Medal of Honor winner, or joe smo on the street. It doesn’t even care if you are the number 1 overall pick in the nba. For some people when they go through shit it changes them.
To me this all makes sense. As young kid when stuff like this happens it can cause serious change in your mental state. And it doesn’t mean that you can see it in everyday life. Subconsciously anxiety can be there without a person or the people around him really noticing. When we watch kelle play, what is his only flaw? Set shots and foul shots. The pull up off the screen is money. He gets to rim, runs baseline to baseline and dunks on someone. Even the 3 he hit on Zach Levine’s face. What do all these things have in common, there is no time for his brain to think, it’s all reaction. But when he is all by himself and the defender is 6 feet off him daring him to sleep, even for a split second his brain recalls that whole traumatic situation and his anxiety sets in even if he doesn’t realize it. So it’s natural for him to react when the anxiety comes and just go to what he is comfortable with, putting the ball on the floor and attacking.
So here is the biggest problem with this situation. His situation is still going to be looked at negatively, like he is soft or mentally weak. And his camp and agent and people around him refuse to acknowledge he may have some problems are nothing but enablers. The more they blame it on injury or whatever they want, the more he is never going to face the problem and the likelihood of he being well again is slim to none. By the way as someone who lives with ptsd and depression, it can cause physical pain, the brain is a crazy muscle. The saddest part about this is it’s bigger than basketball because when basketball is done for him it will only get worse in his life.
But the good thing is its beatable, I’m living proof. I went through hell and back, and now honestly I’m mentally better than I’ve ever been in my life. And I have other vets I know and talk to that have done the same thing. First step is admitting and acknowledging and then getting the help needed. And the craziest part about all this is that it’s ok to have these problems. It doesn’t make you weak or soft and if you think it does I’ll introduce you to a dozens guys and girl that deal with it that will make you look like a baby back bitch.
At the end of the day the best for him is to get better. I’m not a doctor or anything close enough to really make a firm statement. In fact I have no real credential to write this about him. I’m just going off my life experience. At the end of the day I think we all want kelle to get healthy and be ok. And honestly I hope I’m wrong. I hope it’s just an injury and physical therapy will get him back to where he needs to be. But if I’m not I hope he realizes it before it’s too late or someone around him does. As big of a Sixers fan as I am, I really don’t care if he never plays again I would love him too I just want to see him healthy before it’s too late. I’ve lost too many people and seen too many stories of suicide and drugs. I’m in no way implying that markelle does drugs or is suicidal, I just know what this kind of mental state can bring a person to do.
So markelle do what you have to do to get better. And I home at some point IF this is the problem someone around you can open your eyes and help you. and if possible get back on the court and prove all these hating ass motherfuckers wrong.
PSA I am in no way diagnosing this. I am not trying to say that this is the actual case. If the doctor says he is injured I’m not going to argue. I am just trying to give an alternate perspective. This is my opinion and my opinion only.